Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. November 02, 2018

In This Issue

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500,000 teens with autism will become adults in next 10 years. Where will they work?

Mutation types tied to autism converge on shared set of genes

How virtual reality is transforming autism studies

Therapy taps rhythm to boost speech in autistic children

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Opening Night Tickets! JK Rowling's The Crimes of Grindelwald

Autism Speaks NEW North County Walk in OCEANSIDE!!!

No Wait for RDI at Family Guidance

La Jolla Love - Tennis for Autism

Cara Lucier & Associates

Sweet Pea Connect: A nanny service for families with special needs

Machado Behavioral Consultanting

Adult Group for individuals with Asperger-Like Thinking

Learning Comet

The Old Globe Sensory Friendly Grinch!

Sari Kuperstein, Behavior Specialist/Consultant

NFAR Men's Group - Thu. Nov 8

Beacons Marketplace Gift Fair in Carlsbad!

Individual and Family Therapy


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 18 years. No fees or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!

  • 500,000 teens with autism will become adults in next 10 years. Where will they work?
  • When Olivia Shanks landed in the hospital, it changed her life.

    She didn't arrive as a patient, though - she came to work. The 21-year-old, who has high-functioning autism, has struggled to get places on time. Some basic workplace tasks stressed her out. Dependence on others dinged her self-confidence.

    Her work in Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital's food-services department came via one of Houston's nonprofit groups providing job training and support for a population that's exploding but finds few opportunities to live as fully as possible. Read on...

  • Mutation types tied to autism converge on shared set of genes
  • Genes linked to autism in sequencing studies tend be located in long stretches of DNA that are duplicated or missing in some people with developmental conditions.

    Researchers presented the unpublished results yesterday at the 2018 American Society of Human Genetics conference in San Diego, California.

    In many cases, more than one autism gene in the copy number variant (CNV) - the DNA segment that is duplicated or deleted - may contribute to the condition. Overall, the findings suggest that different classes of mutations linked to autism converge on the same set of genes.

    Copy number variants were linked conclusively to autism more than a decade ago. Researchers then tried to pinpoint which of the genes within these regions contribute to autism - with mixed success. Read on...

  • How virtual reality is transforming autism studies
  • Researchers and autistic artists are exploring virtual reality to study, treat and simulate autism traits.

    The forest is still - until, out of the corner of my eye, I notice a butterfly flutter into view. At first it is barely perceptible, but as I watch the butterfly more intently, the trees around it darken and the insect grows brighter. The more I marvel at it, the more marvelous it becomes, making it impossible for me to look away. Before long the entire forest recedes, and the butterfly explodes into a red starburst, like a fireworks display. Everything goes dark. Then, dozens of white dots swarm around me. On my left, they are just dots. On my right, they leave long trails of spaghetti-like light. The contrast makes me acutely conscious that the present is never experienced as a mathematical instant; it has some duration, and the perception of that can vary with context.

    The sensation evaporates as soon as I take off my headset. Read on...

  • Therapy taps rhythm to boost speech in autistic children
  • A novel type of speech therapy may improve the verbal abilities of children with autism who speak few or no words, according to a new study1. Children with the mildest autism traits and those who speak the most consonant and vowel sounds would benefit most.

    The therapy, called auditory-motor mapping training (AMMT), involves the children reciting words in a singsong voice while tapping the syllables on drums tuned to produce high or low tones. After five weeks, the therapy increases the number of syllables spoken by minimally verbal autistic children - those who speak few or no words by age 5 - more than standard speech therapy does.

    "That by itself is something that is surprising and in some ways quite remarkable, because there are hardly any interventions for this particular subgroup of children with autism," says lead researcher Gottfried Schlaug, associate professor of neurology at Harvard University. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • I have a three-year old son with ASD. We toured a preschool today that's part of SD Unified that is not a good option for him. Does anyone have any recommendations for the best preschool programs for children with ASD? We are more than willing to relocate to a different school district, including Del Mar, Solana Beach, etc. All referrals are greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

    My family & I are relocating to San Diego in November for my husband's new job in Sorrento Valley. We have two boys aged 8(2nd grade) & 10(5th grade) who have high functioning autism. Academically they are on par, but have the behavioral/social issues. We are trying to figure out what the best school district would be for our boys in terms of in-school programs. We currently live in North LA county (the Santa Clarita area). They are in a SDC for high functioning autism & they have programs that go all the way through high school. Some of the places we are looking to buy in are Rancho Bernardo (Westwood), South Carlsbad, Rancho Pe├▒asquitos, Scripps Ranch. I know that is all over the place but we'd like to stay in north county and are open to any other suggestions. Schooling for the boys is most important in our move. I would love any input. Not just for elementary schools but beyond. We are open to charter schools as well if you know of any that would suit their criteria.

    I hear so many opposing opinions as to which are the best and the worst districts. So hard to navigate and I am feeling lost:( I would really appreciate any guidance.
    Thank you in advance,

    I am writing this ad for the amazing family of caregivers who have worked for us for the past six years, caring for my father until his death, and then my severely autistic, non-verbal sister and our mother, both, until they both recently passed away. The caretaker is a licensed CNA, super responsible, kind and personable. He is young and strong, and has experience working with the elderly, those with autism, the physically disabled, and those in a hospice type situation. He has an outstanding work ethic, and cared for our family members regularly during the night as well as the day. He is completely reliable in ordering and dispensing meds. He did extensive "diaper duty" and showering / bathing for incontinent family members with never any complaints. He has a wife who is as sweet as he is, and two young children, and they all lived in with first my father and then my mother (divorced). This would be optional, though it was a great thing, as his wife was the relief caretaker. I would be happy to talk on the phone or in person further about our experiences with this family, their compensation, or anything else. The caretaker has a car and valid driver's license, speaks good English, and is a recently naturalized US citizen. They are willing to relocate. Daria or 619-788-2042

    Does your child or young adult have IHSS hours? I have an amazing person who is working with my 22 year old daughter and is looking to take on new clients. She's been great at teaching life skills, cooking, hygiene and can also help with things like organizing schoolwork, mentoring etc. She is also available for work private pay as well. Please spread the word if you know anyone who needs this type of service for teens/young adults ­čśŐContact me for details Debra Berl 619 672-8893

    If you have a question or request for this newsletter group, please send your email request to People who can help you will email you directly with their responses.

  • Opening Night Tickets! JK Rowling's The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • As a thanks for your continuous fan support, we're giving you the first opportunity to purchase tickets to this year's special needs movie fundraiser!

    Join us November 16, 7 pm at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley for the wizardly celebration of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

    Our events offer much more than just seeing the movie on OPENING NIGHT. As our guest, you can dress in your house colors and show off your themed souvenir event badges. You can create a magic potion bottle and wizard wand with other J.K. Rowling fans! You'll also enjoy movie snacks and fantastic prizes. All before viewing the much anticipated sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

    Proceeds from this event will benefit the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego. The mission of SNRFSD is to help parents and advocates in the special needs community to overcome challenges of the family's journey by bringing together people, information and resources in the resource guide called Flourishing Families. Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). All donations are 100% tax exempt for federal income tax purposes. Tax ID #46-4543603

    Buy your OPENING NIGHT tickets today - before everyone else!

  • Autism Speaks NEW North County Walk in OCEANSIDE!!!
  • Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 8 AM - 1 PM
    Mance Buchanon Park
    425 College Blvd, Oceanside, California

    Register FREE for the NEW North County Walk 11/11/18

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk around the park. Little Tommy Sablan will be our official emcee for the walk.

    Gates opens at 8:00am (onsite registration)
    Opening Ceremonies 9:00am
    Walk start time 9:30am
    Event activities are open until 12pm.
    #AutismSpeaks Walk Powered By Love

    Register as an individual walker or start a team!
    Teams will get to compete in friendly team competions and challenges leading up to the event. Teams who raise $1500 or more are eligible for Team Village. Individuals can qualify for a varity of gifts based on achieving fundraising milestones. Raise $150 earn the official 2018 Autism Speaks Walk shirt, exclusively designed by Tommy Hilfiger

    Event is FREE to register but fundraising is encouraged! Our walks are the major fundraising vehicle for Autism Speaks. Funds raised are critical to continue providing support to thousands of individuals locally, nationally and around the world. Thank you to our major sponors Butterfly Effects, Mission Federal Credit Union and Prava Construction Services, Inc.

    NEEDED Sponsors, volunteers and those interested in joining our walk committee, please email:

  • No Wait for RDI at Family Guidance
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI┬«)

    Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). RDI® is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their guides.

    Why RDI®?
    Foundations of the adult mind are developed in the first years of life through the "Guiding Relationship". From the middle of the first year of life, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, in every culture on earth, children interact with parents and other important adults in deceptively simple encounters, with a very serious underlying agenda; constructing the architecture of the child's mind and brain. Click here for all the info!!!

    The Family Guidance and Therapy Center
    Locations in Point Loma and Mira Mesa

  • La Jolla Love - Tennis for Autism
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    Learn to play tennis and form a team for kids with developmental disabilities 7-13 .

    Saturday 130-230 La Jolla tennis courts

    Cost : FREE
    Learn to have fun, social skills and independence with a tennis team !!!

    Please contact with any interest at Or text 858-699-2300

  • Cara Lucier & Associates
  • At Cara Lucier & Associates we believe in the ability of every person to reach their potential. We believe that education is the key to opportunity. We advocate for the rights of individuals and their families:

    • IEP team meetings
    • Mediation
    • Due Process Hearings and Appeals
    • 504 Meetings and Appeals
    • Regional Center Meetings and Appeals
    • IHSS Appeals
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    For a free 60-minute initial consultation, please contact us at (760)505-2498.

    Law Offices of Cara Lucier
    Civil Rights and Education Law
    701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite #300
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: (760) 717-3451

  • Sweet Pea Connect: A nanny service for families with special needs
  • Sweet Pea Connect, San Diego's leading special needs nanny agency, connects families with specially trained full and part-time caregivers.

    Parents choose Sweet Pea Connect because they're dedicated to pairing kids with the ideal nanny. The process includes in-depth interviews of all parties and selection of two or three nannies that fit the child's needs. Families choose the best candidate. Sweet Pea Connect also helps create contracts between families and caretakers to ensure a smooth outcome.

    For more information visit

  • Machado Behavioral Consultanting

  • At MBC we believe that learning doesn't stop at age 22

    MBC provides behavioral support and coaching for teens and adults on the autism spectrum in their home and community environments. Behavior consultation addresses a variety of needs such as Social and Leisure Skills, Communication, Behavior Management, Daily Living Skills, Community Skills, and Organization/Time Management. Families looking to avoid the "services cliff" that occur upon graduation, will benefit from individualized goals tailored to their unique life experiences and desired outcomes. MBC assists young adults with the ever-changing landscape of adulthood by increasing autonomy and seeking fulfillment for each individual.

    *MBC accepts most major insurance carriers and is vendored with the San Diego Regional Center.

    Contact us:
    (619) 990-2611

  • Adult Group for individuals with Asperger-Like Thinking
  • Run by SDCC Family Wellness Center- El Cajon

    San Diego Center for Children
    680 Fletcher Parkway, Ste 202
    El Cajon, CA 92020
    (858) 634-8300

  • Learning Comet
  • Learning Comet's Mission is to build foundations for the student's Cognitive, Social and Emotional development, and self confidence. Help students be FUNCTIONAL and help them contribute PRODUCTIVELY in school and community as well.

    Services Offered:
    --Educational Therapy
    --Inclusive Workplace Technology Training (see below)
    --STEM Learning
    --STEAM Learning
    --Computer Training for Kids
    --Programming for Kids

    Click here for all the info about our Incluzen Program - Inclusive Workplace Technology Training.

    Click here to view their brochure for info about all of their services.

    Learning Comet
    10620 Treena Street, Suite #230
    San Diego, CA 92131
    (858) 345-2828

  • The Old Globe Sensory Friendly Grinch!
  • As a friend of ValeriesList you are invited to a special performance of America's favorite holiday fable, returning for its 21st joyous year!

    Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 21st incredible year, the family favorite features the songs "This Time of Year," "Santa for a Day," and "Fah Who Doraze," the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as The Old Globe is once again transformed into a snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.

    Space is limited-get your tickets now!

    For tickets to our sensory-friendly performance, please call the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623 and say FRIENDLY

    Or CLICK HERE to save $10 off adult and children's tickets!

  • Sari Kuperstein, Behavior Specialist/Consultant
  • Email:
    Phone: 754-215-2219

  • NFAR Men's Group - Thu. Nov 8
  • Thursday, Nov 8, 2018
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    November Topic: My Life With Autism, the Realities

    Guest Speaker: Ethan Hirschberg, Professional Blogger and Motivational Speaker

    Click here for all the info, directions and to RSVP!!!

  • Beacons Marketplace Gift Fair in Carlsbad!

  • Individual and Family Therapy

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT
  • Social stories (in English and Spanish) for 7 museums in Balboa Park (The Nat, The Fleet, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Man, San Diego History Center, and Japanese Friendship Garden) are available online. These were created by young adults with autsim as part of the SPECTRUM Social Stories Project here at The Nat.

  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • The third Saturday of every month, Fleet invites the Autism Spectrum Community to enjoy our museum through this special opportunity. Adults and families with children with autism can enjoy the Fleet's exhibit galleries in a quieter setting, an hour before regular open hours to the general public and with access to a special cool-off space. Visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum all day. Admission includes a special IMAX film screening at 10 a.m. with the house lights on and a lower soundtrack volume.

    For more information, visit

  • San Diego Therapeutic Recreation Services Newsletter for Fall 2018
  • The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

    Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

    Fall Calendar

    Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

    For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call 619-525-8247.

  • "Autism Through the Lifespan" Monthly Parent Support and Information Meetings

  • October 2018 - May 2019
    PLNU Graduate Education
    4007 Camino Del Rio South - Fourth Floor
    San Diego, CA 92108

    Please join other parents, caregivers and professionals at the following monthly informational and support group meetings in Mission Valley. These meetings will discuss the various aspects of autism through the lifespan. Each meeting will feature an expert speaker and an ASA parent mentor. This is a time for you to meet other parents, ask questions and network.
    The meetings are free and open to all. See the flyer for all the info!!!

  • Participate in Research!!! Can a Safe 'Fever' Help Autism Syptoms?

  • This pilot study will enroll 12 families with ASD children ages 6-16 years old in a controlled study, within the San Diego.

    If you are interested in participating in this pilot study please contact Frances Poteet at

    Participants who complete the entire study will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!

  • Participate in Research: Caregiver/Family Member Survey
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    My name is Richie Sapp. My twin brother, Mikey, has been attending the TERI day program for several years now. I am a third-year medical student (MS3) at Stanford School of Medicine where I am currently taking a research year to focus my efforts in medical education, specifically to improve patient care for individuals with disabilities. I am creating an elective course for medical students/PA students for Winter Quarter 2018/19 and I could use your help.

    Please consider completing this first survey and if your son/daughter would like to complete the second survey on their own, I would welcome that too.

    1) This survey is for parents/caregivers of individuals with disabilities. Caregiver/Family Member Survey, which will help me with what content to put together for the course. Please feel free to share the survey with anyone who might be interested in sharing their experiences. Here is the link:

    2) Additionally, if you know anyone with a disability who would like to speak about their own experiences, there is a separate survey for individuals with disabilities. The link is below:

    Thank you so much for all your support!

    Please email me if you have any questions.

    Thank you,
    Richie Sapp

  • Brain Imaging Studies for all Ages with or without Autism

  • At SDSU!!! To find out more, please call 619-594-0176 or email BDIL@SDSU.EDU.


    I never endorse anyone or anything. Opinions expressed in what I send out, may not be shared by me. Everything is for informational purposes only.
    People who "advertise" through this newsletter have never been checked out by me. Same goes for the "Sponsors". This includes professionals and even people who are interested in babysitting, etc. So, please take the time to thoroughly check out anyone and everyone who will be working with or caring for your child/adult. We are all sadly aware, through news stories and word of mouth, of people who prey upon special needs children and adults because of their extra vulnerability.

    Valerie Dodd-Saraf
    President, Foggy Coast Ventures, Inc.